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Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort Hotel

Lemons Become Lemonade When Failed Wall System Is Replaced With Eye-Catching Metal Panel System

No one wants to hear the word “fail” except when it presents a prospect for change. Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort’s Hotel in Jackson, CA, had a failing Exterior Insulation and Finish System (EIFS) on its façade and seized the opportunity for a design and functionality revamp. The best cladding replacement option was Dri-Design wall panels for their appearance, performance, fire resistance and weatherability. Three Dri-Design systems—Shadow Series, Perforated Panels and Perforated Imaging Panels—were installed on the casino’s main hotel, arcade building and pedestrian bridge.

JAX Kneppers Associates Inc., Walnut Creek, CA, took its design cues from a recent partial interior renovation, which added an Earth-tone color scheme and modern finishes. The design team was asked to carry this updated concept into the exterior. The designers explored several material options to meet this request, and they determined fire and weather resistance along with curb appeal could best be met with metal wall panels. Dri-Design was selected for its custom solutions and diverse product offerings.

“We considered multiple metal panel options, including composite, but ultimately Dri-Design single-skin aluminum panels provided the best combination of rainscreen weather resistance, fire resistance and design options,” says Jacob J. Welhouse, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP, with JAX Kneppers Associates.

Rua and Son Mechanical Inc., Lincoln, CA, installed 27,500 square feet of Dri-Design’s 0.08-inch aluminum wall panels in Dark Bronze, Rookwood Red and Tan. About 65 percent of the panels are Shadows Series, a system that brings depth and definition to buildings. With Shadow Series, individual panels can be extended at varying depths to create texture or a dynamic variation in patterns while keeping the substrate and weather barrier in the same plane. For this installation, Rua and Son Mechanical’s crew installed the insulation and subgirts followed by the panels that were attached with concealed fasteners.

“We utilized the multiple depths of the Shadow Series to create the appearance of pilasters and add relief to an otherwise flat building facade. All of these aesthetic improvements to the facade were possible with the metal panels while preserving a flat, continuous weather-resistive barrier and drainage plane behind,” Welhouse says.

The depth of the Shadow Series was used to conceal the unsightly PTAC air-conditioning units that typically can be seen protruding from hotel rooms. The units also can present a waterproofing challenge, but not in this case. “By using metal panels over a robust rainscreen wall assembly, we were able to conceal an aesthetic issue and significantly improve the weathertightness of the entire structure,” Welhouse adds.

The Perforated panels were installed at the top of the hotel walls with backlighting. This creates a backlit “headdress” around the hotel. Perforated Imaging Panels display the hotel’s logo over three stories on one side of the hotel.

“The perforated logo not only adds interest to a windowless facade, but it also acts as a unique backdrop for the casino’s outdoor concert venue,” Welhouse says. “Combined with an all new contemporary color-changing LED exterior lighting package, the Perforated and Shadow Series panels give new life to these existing buildings.”

To meet the schedule requirements for panel installation on three structures, Rua and Son Mechanical at times had multiple crews on site, working several different areas at the same time—often at great heights on scaffolding. Their craftsman completed intricate detail work to create the desired layout of the panels.

“Metal’s role in renovation projects should not be overlooked,” says Brad Zeeff, president of Dri-Design. “Our metal wall panels have the ability to mimic other materials with a better performance, longer lifespan and more appeal. The work of the design and construction team on this project took a dated facility into a destination with style.”

About Dri-Design

DriDesign_logo_020511Dri-Design is a manufacturer of dry-joint rainscreen metal wall systems available in a wide range of styles and colors. In addition, the company offers graphic wall systems created though sophisticated custom perforating and via imaging technology. To learn more about the company's products, visit

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